Bullet Points: Twister
When I see lists of the greatest villains from action films I usually see guys like Darth Vader, Hans Gruber, or Han from Enter the Dragon but I’m about to review a film with possibly the baddest and most cold-blooded villain of all time. A villain that shows no remorse and kills without a motive. There’s no doubt that in Twister Mother Nature is a murdering bitch!
Synopsis: Bill (Bill Paxton) returns to the old stompin’ grounds of Oklahoma to get the divorce papers from his old flame (Helen Hunt) when a series of tornadoes touches down and gives the crew the perfect opportunity to get their newest creation (a device that when sucked into a twister can measure shit loads of data) “off the ground” and deep inside that twister. Bill and ex Jo realize that they still have feelings for each other and narrowly escape being thrown halfway across the state by a massive tornado of death.
- You Killed My Father: There are few things in this world that are brutal as watching your papa get murdered right in front of your eyes. Especially when you’re only like 6 and there is absolutely nothing you can do to save him. That is the scene that opens the movie. The young Helen Hunt watches her father get sucked out of the storm shelter and most likely thrown onto a white picket fence nearby, drenching it with his blood. Like Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, Jo grows up with a serious obsession with the tornadoes and spends her life almost getting killed by them in an effort to learn more about why they are such perfect killing machines. Her story is much more tragic than the happy ending might try to make you believe.
- Nickname Woes: I’ve had a few nicknames in my lifetime; Dragon, Chaddragon, The Natural, and Shithead (thanks GrandPa), but I’ve never heard of anyone being called “The Human Barometer”. In fact, that might be the lamest nickname in history. I once knew a kid we called Johnny Jack Off and even that was way cooler than The Human Barometer.
- The Suck Zone: Philp Seymour Hoffman’s character keeps referring to the part of the twister that sucks you up as “the suck zone”. Not only does he describe it with weird sexual undertones, but it also gives us as the viewers an opportunity to learn some of the storm watcher lingo. At least I hope that is a term that they use. I would totally use it if I was stupid enough to chase twisters.
- Aunt Meg, The Wise: The character of Aunt Meg is there for two reasons and two reasons only. She delivers some wisdom to tank top wearing Helen Hunt when she most needs to hear it and she provides the team with a valuable damsel in distress moment and some much needed emotion when she is almost killed by a rogue twister.
- There, that’s better: Bill Paxton’s character has another nickname! The Extreme! It sounds like a 1990’s comic book character or a wrestler from the late 90’s era WCW. Either way, it’s much better than the Human Barometer.
How bout a few bonus Bullet Points? Unless it’s too extreme for you…
- The cow caught up in the twister was originally the zebra flying around from the film Jumanji.
- Garth Brooks turned down the role of Dusty, a character that would end up being play by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
- Half of the town of Wakita was destroyed for the film only to be rebuilt after the production had concluded.
The Verdict: I already told you that Twister has one of the most diabolical villains of all time. It’s the Hannibal Lector of the meteorological world. A lesser man than Bill Paxton would have just given up. He would have taken his cushy job with the weather station and married the dark haired chick from Lost Boys and just lived happily ever after. What the twisters didn’t know is that Bill Paxton has been killed by a Terminator, an Alien, and a Predator. There was no way in hell that he was going to add a “storm” to that list. Helen Hunt looks pretty good in this movie, even though she was clinically insane. The supporting cast is spot on too. Hoffman is hilarious and there are a bunch of other recognizable guys in it like Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Ferris Bueller’s friend, and Alexa PenaVega, who I just saw played a young Helen Hunt. How bout that? Twister still holds up really well and while no one gets roundhouse kicked in the face or shot with a machine gun, it’s still pretty good.